11th May - 31st May 2017

Mt Eden, Auckland, New Zealand
Ph: (09) 638 8965

Matt Palmer: The Longing


Matt Palmer’s New Zealand is iconic, yet intimate. Memories & Elements of his past are intentionally and effortlessly reshaped and retold from a sense of developed personal mythology and the experience of his present circumstance: an expat New Zealander, living in Australia.    

The Longing explores this nostalgic distance, an area of particular interest and tension in Palmers recent work - reconciling the land of his childhood with his experience of it today. These highly personalised landscapes are constructions of first hand experience buried under layers of memory, trapped somewhere between myth and reality.     

Palmer’s work lies somewhere between photograph, painting and film. A background in filmmaking has lead to experimentation with the landscape genre, attempting to bridge the gap between his painting and film work, the result, paintings which are both photographic and painterly.

Palmers compositions are cinematic - and while objects, like buildings and trees are articulate, even photographic - the brush work, particularly in the foreground and surrounding areas is loose and painterly.  Palmer works quickly and spontaneously in these areas, building up layers with thin glazes of paint, carful to avoid texture and impasto, rubbing back the surface where required.


This new body of work is in atmospheric, brooding in tone and loaded with narrative. Though the works are devoid of human activity: though roads, dilapidated buildings, fence posts and other civilizing signs are playfully set against the vibrancy and lushness of the natural landscape, exposing both the tension and congruity of our relationship with the land.

"We are homesick most for the places we have never known" Carson McCullers

House Port Waikato Railway Bridge King Country Road Wairarapa Tokoroa Looking West
House Miranda Truck Wairarapa Shed Mangaokewa Farm House Whanganui   
Shed Hauraki Plains ii Te Kuti Looking East Ida Valley Looking South Otaki Looking West
Trees Otaki Ridgeline Tauramunui Farm House, Okaihau